Dolphins at Texans: What to Watch For

Aug 29, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) calls a play on the line of scrimmage during the first quarter of the game against the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-US PRESSWIRE

I'm moving up in the world folks! Got another post to do for you guys.

Sunday, September 9, 2012, at 1 p.m. (ET) the Miami Dolphins will officially begin their 2012 campaign. I only get to watch a Dolphins game when it's a nationally televised game. I rarely get to see them play during the regularly timed games. I use NFL Audio Pass to listen to the games.

I see us in a rebuilding year. There will be a ton of hardships and a few good moments.

Here's some things I will be watching for, or in my case, listening for during the game:

THE ROOKIES

Eleven rookies are on the 53 man roster. Ryan Tannehill will be the 17th starting quarterback since Dan Marino. Expectations will be high for Tannehill as he's the first first round quarterback we've drafted since Marino. Entering into training camp, Tannehill was expected to be the number three quarterback. After an injury to David Garrard, poor play by Matt Moore, and earning the praise of his teammates, Tannehill was named the starter for the season. It doesn't hurt having your college head coach as your offensive coordinator either. The first thing Sherman would like to do is get Tannehill an easy completion. Once Tannehill becomes more comfortable, expect more throws down the field. I'm not expecting much from Tannehill, as of right now. He's playing against a tough Texans defense and doesn't have much help at wide receiver.

Enough of Tannehill. Let's look at the other rookies.

Jonathan Martin- can he live up to expectations on the right side of the offensive line? Martin played left tackle at Stanford and was moved to the right side. Looking for someone to complement Jake Long, Martin had a poor preseason. However, the more reps he gets at right tackle the more comfortable he'll become. The Texans defensive pass rush may be too much for Martin. But it will be a good test and he should learn alot of new things.

Olivier Vernon- expect to see Vernon on 3rd down situations and obvious passing downs. Gifted with a quick burst, Vernon could develop into a great pass rushing defensive end for the Phins down the road. Learning behind Cameron Wake also helps.

Michael Egnew- I don't know if he'll even play. Could be inactive after a very poor preseason and being called out by his coaches. Drafted as a pass catching tight end, Egnew cannont block well. He'll have to make the most of his time to silence the critics and his coaches.

Rishard Matthews- When we drafted Matthews back in April, I was a big fan of him. But I kept quiet because everytime I like a draft pick they never seem to do well for us. I saw Matthews as a developmental player. I expected him to be on the practice squad. He changed my mind and many others. With Bess our only consistent wide receiver, Matthews could see alot of playing time. Also Brian Hartline is expected to be brought back slowly.

Lamar Miller- Miller intrigues me. The rookie has the speed to contribute in the return game and split out wide. With the depth at running back with: Reggie Bush, Daniel Thomas, Marcus Thigpen, and including Miller, it will be interesting to see how the coaching staff gets him involved. It will take Miller a couple of games to get comfortable and trusting his offensive lineman but I think he can be a big contributor. Our recievers stink so the running backs will be asked to go out for passes, whether that's from the back field or out wide. So expect to see not only Miller, but all the running backs going out for passes.

These are the rookies I'm looking forward to watching during the game. How about you?

Secondary

The trade of Vontae Davis left us with very little depth at corner back. Sean Smith and Richard Marshall may not leave the field. Smith needs to be more consistent. The same goes for Marshall.

Nolan Carroll has earned praise from defensive coordinator, Kevin Coyle. Learning the playbook and showing good technique when out on the field. Carroll was the reason Davis was traded. With playing time, Carroll will become more comfortable on the field and could complement Marshall and Smith well down the road.

Jimmy Wilson can switch between safety and corner, which is what I see the Dolphins doing this Sunday.

The safeties will have to be consistent, which is something we haven't seen in a few years. Reshad Jones and Chris Clemons will start with Wilson and Troy Nolan backing them up. Talk about great depth, huh? If this defense is to succeed and create turnovers, there will have to be great communication with the safeties.

Wide Receivers

Heading into the draft in April, many of us expected to draft a wide receiver early. We waited until the 6th round and drafted B.J. Cunningham, who didn't make the team. In my opinion, we have the worst wide receiver core in the whole league. Although it's a toss up between us and the Rams.

Davone Bess will be Tannehill's go-to target. Bess is our most consitent wide receiver at the moment. He's more of a slot guy, but I see him being asked to do more due to poor depth at the position.

Legedu Naanee was sigend over the offseason. A guy who earned a starting position by having strong practices. The practices did not translate to the field during the preseason. Drops were an issue, but all our wide receivers dropped passes.

Brian Hartline is back folks. He practiced all week and is expected to play on Sunday. However, I'm told he's going to be brought back slowly. I for one am happy he will be back. I feel the west coast offense suits Hartline. But we shall see.

Anthony Armstrong was claimed off waivers from the Redskins. A speedster with some drop issues, he can blow the top off defenses. He will be our deep threat this season and should only help Tannehill make great progress.

Rishard Matthews, the rookie. The 7th round pick made the team by being our best wide receiver during the presason. Expect Matthews to get quite a bit of playing time due to the fact Hartline may be brought back slowly. I'm very excited to watch this guy play. He's not fast but he made the tough catches and showed good toughness during his touchdown catch against the Panthers in week 2 of the preseason.

I almost forgot about Marlon Moore. He earned his spot by playing great on special teams and making some catches. Moore has the speed. But will Tannehill be able to get him the ball?

Losing Streak

Will we finally beat the Texans? Doubt it. The Texans are considered AFC favorites by many people. Beating them may send the world into a pandemic. We are 0-6 against the Texans. I don't think we have the personal to keep up with the Texans. So make that 0-7 against the Texans. But who knows. I guess that's why they say "Any Given Sunday".

This is my first ever written front page post. Please feel free to point out my mistakes as I am not too good at this. Like players needing playing time, I expect to become more comfortable as the season goes along.

Please feel free to discuss below what you are looking forward to watching for during the game.

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